Los Angeles Drama Critics Award Winner and L.A. Weekly Award Winner Nan McNamara is a natural performer. Whether on stage, television, film, behind the microphone as a voiceover artist or even directing and producing theatre – she pretty much shines at it all. But, if you were to ask her, “Nan, what do you like to do most?” She would say, “I just want to tell a good story.”
Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Nan grew up in a family of artists – although in Minnesota, they are too nice to ever call themselves such. Her father played banjo and guitar, and tap-danced across the state. Her uncle first introduced her to performing as a little girl during Saturday morning dance classes. It was a weather-girl sketch she performed in Catholic grade school (just try to envision that) that first ignited her passion for performing. The class laughed at her – and that was her intention. But she felt a true calling when she saw her older brother, Tom, in a high school play. Yes, being on the stage was her dream. Her first leading role was playing Marion, the Librarian in “The Music Man” on the same stage her brother performed.
She headed off to St. Cloud State University where she majored in theatre and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree Cum Laude. After graduating, she worked two jobs during the summer (at a bank during the day, a cocktail waitress at night) to save enough money to drive her American-made lemon to Los Angeles.
She hit the Los Angeles pavement and quickly landed her first gig. And she hasn’t stopped since. Working consistently on the stage (33 VARIATIONS, WIT and AS YOU LIKE IT are some of her favorite productions), amassing hundreds of radio and TV voiceovers, showing her range in front of the camera on sit-coms and hour-longs (most recently on MAJOR CRIMES and a recurring role on SWITCHED AT BIRTH), as well as in feature-length films (NOT THAT FUNNY with Tony Hale, among others), Nan feels very blessed to be an artist in Los Angeles who makes her living doing what she loves. Her artistic dream is fulfilled every day.
There is one dream for which she continues to pine – sure, she wants to work with Steven Spielberg. But besides that, she hopes that one day, the Minnesota Vikings will win the Super Bowl.
A standing ovation was definitely in order for the actress, Nan McNamara’s outstanding portrayal of Vivian. She kept us all engaged, tackling the demanding language with ease and intense emotion. She carried the play with superb strength and brought me to tears by the end of the play.